MundoAndino Home : Andes Colombia Guide at Mundo Andino

Natural Hazards in Colombia

The Natural disasters in Colombia are the result of several different Natural hazards that affect the country according with its particular geographic and geologic features, which move from potential in to an active phase, and as a result affects human activities. Human vulnerability, exacerbated by the lack of planning or lack of appropriate emergency management, and the fragility of the economy and infrastructure contribute to an high rate of financial, structural, and human losses.

Some of the natural hazards present in Colombia are:


Colombia is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and Andean Volcanic Belt due to the collision of the South American Plate and the Nazca Plate. This produces an increased risk of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Some natural disasters of this type are:

The Earthquake of Cucuta (1875)

The 1979 Narino Department Tsunami, with an 7.2 Ritcher scale earthquake

The 1982 Popayan Earthquake

The 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz volcano and subsequent Armero tragedy

The 1994 Paez river earthquake

The 1999 Armenia earthquake that affected heavily the city of Armenia, Colombia in the Quindio department.


Rainfall is heaviest in the Pacific lowlands and in parts of eastern Colombia, where rain is almost a daily occurrence and rain forests predominate. Precipitation exceeds 760 centimeters annually in most of the Pacific lowlands, making this one of the wettest regions in the world. The highest average annual precipitation in the world is estimated to be in Lloro, Colombia, with 13,299 mm (523.9 inches). Global Measured Extremes of Temperature and Precipitation. National Climatic Data Center. August 9, 2005. Last accessed January 18, 2007. In eastern Colombia, it decreases from 635 centimeters in portions of the Andean piedmont to 254 centimeters eastward. Extensive areas of the Caribbean interior are permanently flooded, more because of poor drainage than because of the moderately heavy precipitation during the rainy season.

The Caribbean Region of Colombia, valleys of Magdalena river and Cauca river and the eastern savannahs are prone to floods during the two main monsoon seasons (April and November). The opposite phenomenon of drought is also frequent. January through March and July through September are the dry seasons, when abnormally dry periods cause shortage in the water supply to crops and urban centers.


The presence of coastal regions both in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans increases the risk of hurricanes and tropical storms. Waves in the trade winds in the Atlantic Oceanareas of converging winds that move along the same track as the prevailing windcreate instabilities in the atmosphere that may lead to the formation of hurricanes. Some of the events of this type that have affected the country are:

Tropical Storm Bret (1993)

Hurricane Cesar-Douglas

Hurricane Joan-Miriam

Health and disease

Some of the main public health issues in Colombia are: malnutrition, pregnancy-related deaths, neonatal deaths, acute respiratory disease-related deaths in children under 5 years, diarrhea-related deaths in children under 5 years, lack of vaccinations, tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, hemorrhagic dengue fever, yellow fever, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis, poly-parasitism, snakebites and violence related causes of mortality.

Didn't find what you were looking for.
Need more information for your travel research or homework?
Ask your questions at the forum about Natural disasters in Colombia or help others to find answers.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Natural Hazards in Colombia

Disclaimer - Privacy Policy - 2009